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Laboratory for the Study of Radiation and Matter in Astrophysics and Atmospheres - UMR 8112

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Laboratory for the study of radiation and matter in astrophysics and atmospheres - UMR 8112

LERMA (Laboratory for Studies of Radiation and Matter in Astrophysics and Atmospheres) is a research entity operated by CNRS and 4 higher education institutions:

  • Observatoire de Paris (OP),
  • Université Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC - Paris 6),
  • École normale supérieure (ENS),
  • Université de Cergy-Pontoise (UCP).

These 4 institutions host the various research groups of LERMA.


Management (as of June 2014)

  • Director: Darek LIS
  • Deputy directors: Jean-Hugues FILLION and Franck LE PETIT
  • Technical director: Jean-Michel KRIEG
  • Administrative manager / director’s assistant: Valérie AUDON
  • Financial manager: Laurent GIROT


In this page

Teams and research themes

LERMA is organized in 4 Research Poles, complemented by 2 transverse structures, one dedicated to Technology and Research Support and one dedicated to Scientific Services. 


Pole "Galaxies and Cosmology" (OP)

  • Early Universe Galaxy
  • formation and dynamics
  • Clusters of galaxies
  • Dark matter
  • Active galactic nuclei, star formation and feedback in galaxies

Pole "Dynamics of the Interstellar Medium and Stellar Plasmas" (ENS, OP, UPMC)

  • Observational characterization of the ISM cycle
  • Modeling ISM evolution from diffuse gas to stars and disks
  • Chemical diagnostics of ISM dynamics
  • Turbulent and radiative transport in (circum)stellar plasmas
  • Experimental studies of (circum)stellar plasmas

Pole "Molecules in the Universe" (UCP, OP, UPMC)

  • Gas-surface interactions
  • Gas-phase molecular processes
  • Exotic isotopic spin ratios
  • Molecular parameters for planetary, terrestrial atmospheres and ISM


Pole "Instrumentation and Remote Sensing" (OP)

  • THz components and subsystems
  • THz heterodyne instruments
  • Characterization of clear, cloudy, and rainy atmospheres
  • Characterization of Earth, planets, and comets
  • Data processing, storage and diffusion


Main scientific results
  •  Simulation of the reionisation of the Universe and feedback on the evolution of galaxies and star formation (Hasegawa & Sémelin 2013).
  • High-resolution spectra obtained with the HIFI instrument of the Herschel Space Observatory, showing fundamental lines of C+ (1.9 THz), CH (0.53 THz), para-H2O (1.1 THz), HF (1.2 THz) and CH+ (0.83 THz) in absorption against two bright star forming regions in our Galaxy: W49N and W51 (Gerin et al. 2012).
  • Synthesis of hydroxylamine, NH2OH, in the FORMOLISM experiment on nitrogen oxide (NO) ice deposited on an amorphous silicate surface cooled to 10 K, irradiated by H atoms (Congiu et al. 2012).
  • Manufacturing of sub-micronic Schottky diodes using electronic lithography in the Marcoussis National Technological Facility in collaboration with Laboratoire de Photonique et Nanostructures (Gatilova et al. 2012).
Doctoral schools

Doctoral studies are principally conducted within École doctorale Astronomie et Astrophysique d’Île de France (ED 127), but about half of our PhD students belong to other doctoral schools in physics, engineering and environment (ED 129, 130, 389, Ed-PIF et 417).


Scientific parternships

Main collaborating laboratories and institutes: most of Ile-de-France laboratories, in particular members of the 7 “Laboratoires d’Excellence” (LabEx), in which LERMA participates:

  • Plas@Par: Plasma Physics in Paris (UPMC)
  • ESEP: Exploration Spatiale des Environnements Planétaires (Paris Observatory)
  • First-TF: Recherche, Innovation, Formation, Services et Transfert en Temps-Fréquence (CNRS)
  • ICFP: International Center of Fundamental Physics (ENS) ILP: Institut Lagrange de Paris (UPMC)
  • L-IPSL: Labex Institut Pierre Simon Laplace (IPSL)
  • MIChem: Multiscale Interactions in Chemistry (UPMC)




In addition, many laboratories in France and in Europe collaborate with LERMA teams through ANR or FP7 funded projects, and several large laboratories worldwide have established sustained relations with LERMA (e.g. Caltech and JPL, UC Berkeley, GISS New York, Purple Mountain Observatory Nanjing, RAL Oxford, MPE Garching...)


Industrial parternships

Main industrial partners collaborating on research and development projects: Alcatel/Thalès, EADS/Astrium, CLS, SULA, RPG, Estellus


LIS Darek
01 40 51 20 53
Physical address
Observatoire de Paris
77, avenue Denfert-Rochereau
75014 Paris

Laboratory e-mail

Web site
Postal address
Observatoire de Paris
61, avenue de l'Observatoire
75014 Paris

Communication contact
COMBES Françoise
01 40 51 20 77
Administrative contact
AUDON Valérie
01 40 51 20 66

Teachers - researchers :
39 (including 4 emeritus)

Researchers :
22 (including 5 emeritus)

Help staff :

Post-doctorate :

phD students :